The “We Space”
The “we space” is what is created when two or more people are in a relationship. A couple has a different energy than each person on his own; a family has a whole dynamic greater than the sum of its parts.
Sharing a story about your day might be a different experience depending upon who you are telling. Recounting to your 15 year-old, your best friend or a work colleague will be a whole different thing. Not only might you use different language, emphasize different aspects, frame the story so it’s relatable to your audience, but your experience of being heard and being with your listener will vary.
Even a non-verbal experience, like watching the same movie, would have a whole different feel if shared with your wife as opposed to your ex-girlfriend. You are ostensibly the same, the movie is unchanged, but the experience is affected by the “we.” The difference has to do with whom you share the experience. Not only your sense of who you are while with the other, or your sense of who the other is, but all of what is created in your being together – the something between the two of you – the relatingness itself – which has its own particular quality. In fact, when couples choose to divorce, it often has to do with a deterioration of their “we space.”
How we pay attention to ourselves and stay tuned-in and online with ourselves is the “me space.”
“Ooh! I’m getting a – I don’t know. I know we just walked into this restaurant, but I’m getting a weird feeling here. You know what, I’m gonna check out the menu next door.”
The “you space” is the other person, who is a whole kind of mystery and universe unto themselves. Often we are attracted to people who have an intricate and unique “me space,” where they are managing their own stuff in a particular way that appeals to us.
A relationship is more than the people inhabiting it. It is the relating that occurs between them. What happens when we sit down together on the sofa and engage? What is created between the two of us that is neither me nor you? We are both the players, contributors, but there’s something else. Almost like a child that is created between the two of you; without both of you it would not be there, and yet it’s neither of you. It is distinct and can, and ought, be treated as such.
The “We” of Divorce Mediation
The “we space” provides an opportunity in mediation. The “we space” is sans blame, sans judgment. Without the focus on what is who’s fault.
When we focus on what is between the two of you – two people in conflict, often in pain – we can begin to work with something much more malleable and faultless then either of you, your shortcomings or past foibles. In shifting our attention from each of you as separate entities, to the relating born of the two of you, we have an entry point for our work, and can begin to engineer something new together.
Like copilots of a ship, a Relation Ship, rather than determining who must walk the plank, we can direct our course towards the brightening horizon.
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